B.C. non-profit has $150 million of unclaimed cash & cheques. Does some belong to you?

Only a small portion of millions of dollars of forgotten or unclaimed money is ever claimed

Have you forgotten about a paycheque? Or, maybe you’re the person who lost $1.9 million.

Well, just because you’ve forgotten about money owed to you or held in old bank accounts doesn’t mean it’s lost forever.

The Vancouver Foundation and a little known provincial non-profit is sitting on more than $150 million in cash and assets that has gone unclaimed or been otherwise forgotten by generations of British Columbians. Some of that property dates back to 1859.

But just because you lost your cash, doesn’t mean you can’t get it back.

The society allows people to search its database for their own name. If you spot your name, you can then fill out a form that will start the process to determine whether the property in question actually belongs to you.

Click here to search your name. (If you end up actually finding and retrieving lost money, we’d love to hear from you after you get your lost cheque. Email [email protected])

Last year, the British Columbia Unclaimed Property Society (BCUPS), which administers the provincial program, returned about $1.7 million to people.

But most money is never claimed – in 2018, more than $6 million went into the provincial unclaimed property pile. And since the BCUPS was created (taking over from a previous program) it has taken in about $96 million worth of unclaimed money, and paid out less than $15 million.

The largest amount claimed thus far has been $357,262. But the BCUPS is sitting on a larger pile: a dormant account holding $1.9 million is still waiting to be claimed.

If you worked for UBC in the 1990s, you might have particular reason to search your name. In 2016, the university found that 15,000 cheques had never been picked up before UBC implemented a direct-deposit payroll system. The university ended up transferring 9,000 accounts – $4.1 million in total – to the BCUPS.

Have you lived in another province, click here and go to the bottom of the page to find links to unclaimed property programs in Alberta, Manitoba, Quebec and other locations.

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email:
[email protected]


@ty_olsen
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